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How to keep your kids safe from online predators - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

How to keep your kids safe from online predators

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Online predators.

They troll the internet looking for young victims and they could be living right next door.

Three minutes. That's all it takes for a predator to get through to the online world.

"There's no real block for them to getting online and then using these services to create fake accounts," said Greenville Detective, Glen Webb.

It's the amount of time it took for Webb to create a fake email account. A predator can use that fake email account to create fake Facebook and twitter accounts with ease. And it doesn't take long for them to find what they're looking for. Webb says they'll start by sending "Friend Requests" to people in the same circle.

"Once somebody has about 6 or 7 friends in common with you, a lot of people don't even check them before they accept them," he said.

An innocent request could have ugly consequences. Just this week police arrest William Ayers. They say the registered sex offender met a 15-year-old girl online and had sexual encounters with her at least 20 times in three separate counties.

"What are some of the signs that your kid is doing something that they probably shouldn't be doing," asked 9 on your side's Kristen Hunter.

"If you notice they're spending endless amounts of time online. If they're being very careful to prevent you from seeing what they're doing online...then you might want to look a little further," said Webb.

He says it's a good idea to keep the family computer in a common area in your house and monitor what your kids are doing on their phones.

And Greenville Police created a software called "Computer Cop." The program is free. All you do is pop in a disk. From there, you can track the pictures and websites your kids have been to. You can even type in keywords and figure out passwords.

"Not because you don't trust them. It's the other 7 billion people in the world that they have access to online that you don't trust," said Webb.

There are wiretapping laws that prevent you from using the "Computer Cop" program for other purposes. Parents can pick up the program at the Greenville Police Department.

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